The Complete Poems
From the joy and anguish of her own experience, Sexton fashioned poems that told truths about the inner lives of men and women. This book comprises Sexton's ten volumes of verse, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Live or Die, as well as seven poems from her last years.
All My Pretty Ones (1962) - 5/5
Live or Die (1966) - 4/5
Love Poems (1969) - 5/5
Transformations (1971) - 3/5
The Book of Folly (1972) - 5/5
The Death Notebooks (1974) - 5/5
The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975) - 5/5
POSTHUMOUSLY PUBLISHED WORK -
45 Mercy Street (1976) - 5/5
Words for Dr. Y (1978) - 4/5
Other Poems (1971-1973) - 5/5
Scorpio, Bad Spider, Die (1971) - 5/5
Last Poems - 4/5
All Anne Sexton's major work in one place, plus previously unreleased material to co ...more
I devoured The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton, whose poetry, especially her love poems, quivers with a pulsating eros as it sways to its orgiastic echoes.
My nerves are turned on. I hear them like
musical instruments. Where there was silence
the drums, the strings are incurably playing. You did this.
Pure genius at work. Darling, the composer has stepped
From "The Kiss."
Hers was a tragic life, throughout most of which she ...more
"Someone once said that we have art in order not to die of the truth, a dictum we might neatly apply to Sexton's perspectives. To Hayden Carruth, the poems "raise the never-solved problem of what literature really is, where you draw the line between art and documentary." -- Maxine Kumin in her Foreword
Sexton's poetry transcends the shamelessly personal because, unlike Plath, she did not disguise herself behind metaphors; not in the least as cerebrally as Plath, anyway. And in doing so, she rend ...more
I was first introduced to Anne Sexton in college during an American Poetry class. Actually, I was introduced to Sexton’s poetry because by that time she was long dead. Shortly afterwards, I read her Transformations which will always be one of my favorite books. In her poetic retellings of various Brother Grimm stories, from the most famous to less well known, Sexton shows how fairy tales are still current and powerful, and still can be connected ...more
There are certain poets whose names I have seen and automatically wanted to read. Anne Sexton is one of them. Maybe it was the ‘sex’ in her last name that grabbed my attention. I am a teenage boy and all.
Maybe it's the picture of her on the cover of her Collected Poems, though I bought her Selected Poems first. I gave that a ...more
and then To my Little girl, My Stringbean
The motherly advice that "Dear Linda, Women are born twice"
Her words are perfect in so many ways.
There are poems that go too far for my to enjoy them - I like some darkness in life, but I've been through my melodramatic stage already...so I don't need it quite as much....
that aside - read Transformations in its entirety - the reveal it gives to fairytales is a fabulou ...more
The Death Notebook
The Awful Rowing Toward God
Wanting To Die
"Suicides have already betrayed the body."
"my death from the wrists,
two name tags,
blood worn like a corsage
"All day I've built
a lifetime and now
the sun sinks to
"To die whole
riddled with nothing
but desire for it,
is like breakfast
The first poem by Anne Sexton that I read was "Her Kind" and jus ...more
From To Bedlam and Part Way Back ...
I am thirty this November....more
You are still small, in your fourth year.
How It Was: Maxine Kumin on Anne Sexton
--To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960)
--All My Pretty Ones (1962)
--Live or Die (1966)
--Love Poems (1969)
--The Book of Folly (1972)
--The Death Notebooks (1974)
--The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975)
Posthumously Published Work
--Mercy Street (1976)
--Words for Dr. Y. (1978)
--Admonitions to a Special Person
--As It Was Written
--Lessons in Hunger
by Anne Sexton
Since you ask, most days I cannot remember.
I walk in my clothing, unmarked by that voyage.
Then the almost unnameable lust returns.
Even then I have nothing against life.
I know well the grass blades you mention,
the furniture you have placed under the sun.
But suicides have a special language.
Like carpenters they want to know which tools.
They never ask why build.
Twice I have so simply declared myself,
have possessed the enemy, eaten the enemy,
have taken on his craft, hi ...more
The Publisher's Note explains how the poems were adapted to the ebook form. And How It Was: Maxine Kumin on Anne Sexton, a revealing essay abou ...more
than myself, caught between the grapes and the thorns."
4.5 of 5
It's been a while since I loved a poetry collection that much. Probably since I first read Federico Garcia Lorca's poems. Anne Sexton's writing is simply extraordinary. It's impossible to pick the best poem because there are so many of them. Still, among all these brilliant pieces Transformations with her interpretations of famous fairytales, and her early poems are probably the ones I ...more
Here's a poem I'm digging:
Jesus Suckles by Anne Sexton, from Book of Folly, 1972
Mary, your great
white apples make me glad.
I feel your heart work its
machine and I doze like a fly.
I cough like a bird on its worm.
I’m a jelly-baby and you’re my ...more
To be honest, I was affected with the way she died and thus my high rating. Suicide though, doesn't make you a saint nor transforms you into a great artist \_(ツ)_/
I adored only two of her poems, so a four-star rating is a bit excessive.
ΒαΣκά, μου 'πρηξε την moonα. ...more
As an English major I read more than my fair share of poetry. Mostly by guys, really. Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Byron, Milton, Wordsworth, William Carlos Williams. They were all showing me the nature of God, or perhaps god in nature. Beauty is Truth and Truth is Beauty---Keats was telling me what he thought I needed to know. While beautiful, I ...more
I take the book everywhere and it is not dog-eared because I take care of it. I am especially fond of her love poems. "Just an ordinary hand, longing for something to touch that touches back." You ...more
"Not that it was beautiful,
but that, in the end, there was
a certain sense of order there;
something worth learning
in that narrow diary of my mind,
in the commonplaces of the asylum
where the cracked mirror
or my own selfish death
And if I tried
to give you something else,
something outside of myself,
you would not know
that the worst of anyone
can be, finally,
an accident of hope.
And if you turn away
because there is no lesson here
I will hold m ...more
My favorite poem of hers:
For My Lover, Returning To His Wife
She is all there.
She was melted carefully down for you
and cast up from your childhood,
cast up from your one hundred favorite aggies.
She has always been there, my da ...more
The very complexity of Anne Sexton' s psyche informed her extensive poetry, her life, her relationships, her character, and ultimately her demise. In common with women authors Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton remains a larger-than-life icon in the pageant of literary history of the 20th century. Collected in this volume are the eight published collections and two posthumous collections, plus an insightful biographical introduction by Sexton' s ...more
I have spent many nights curled up in bed reading a poem or two before falling asleep. Sexton was writing during the 60's and 70's when some of the themes in her poetry were viewed as controversial, but she wro ...more
I did not read all of the poems in this collection, but I found out from what I did read, t ...more
Her parents didn’t expect much of her academically, and after completing her schooling at Rogers Hall, sh ...more